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Airlines cancel 10,000 flights and scramble to rebook travelers

An American Airlines plane is de-iced as strong winds whip about 7.5 inches of latest snow in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Thursday, December 22, 2022

Star Tribune by Getty Images | Grandstand of Stars | Getty’s paintings

The variety of U.S. flight cancellations eased somewhat on Saturday, but federal officials warned disruption could proceed as strong winter storms hamper air travel across the country ahead of Christmas.

According to FlightAware, US airlines have canceled greater than 10,000 flights since Wednesday.

Bad weather and flight disruptions have thwarted holiday travel plans for lots of of 1000’s of individuals in what airlines expect to be one in all the busiest times since pre-pandemic.

Airlines and travelers struggled to seek out alternative flights ahead of the vacation as planes were so full and flight schedules plummeted over the weekend. The Federal Aviation Administration said the variety of flights peaked at 47,554 on Thursday, dropping to 30,875 on Saturday and just 27,997 on Sunday, Christmas Day.

This could force airlines to refund money to travelers who determine to cancel their trip altogether as a result of delays.

FedEx and UPS warned that vacation packages could also be delayed as a result of storms.

The airline scoured about 5,600 flights on Friday alone, a couple of quarter of its schedule, as storms swept through cities from the Pacific Northwest to the East Coast, bringing life-threatening cold to many areas. Federal forecasters warned of dangerous road conditions related to ice and poor visibility.

“Wind and blizzard may cause delays in Chicago, and wind may cause delays in and around Washington, New York, Boston and Philadelphia,” the FAA said Saturday morning. “Seattle, San Francisco and airports serving Colorado ski resorts may experience delays as a result of low clouds and visibility.”

More than 2,200 Saturday flights were canceled and 5,000 delayed.

Delays are also possible in Florida as a result of the high volume of seasonal flights, the FAA added.

Jet taxis within the snow at O’Hare International Airport, December 22, 2022, Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty’s paintings

Extreme cold and robust winds also slowed operations at dozens of airports. FlightAware data showed that 58% of US flights arrived late on Friday, a median of nearly 90 minutes.

The disruption was as a result of the weather, which affected all major U.S. carriers.

JetBlue Airways offered stewards triple pay to choose up tours on Saturday.

“Winter Storm Elliott caused 1000’s of weather-related delays and cancellations across the country,” in response to a JetBlue staff memo seen by CNBC. “There has also been a rise in crew absenteeism, which leaves us with many open trips for today.”

JetBlue said it’ll proceed to incorporate holiday pay for these stewards, in step with their collective bargaining agreement.

Southwest Airlineswhich has large operations in Chicago and Denver, canceled greater than 1,300 flights, or a couple of third of its schedule, while 2,000 others, or half of its schedule, were delayed.

The Southwest Airlines Pilot Association, the airline’s pilots’ union, said 52% of its pilots were diverted on Thursday.

SWAPA said Denver’s ground operations managers declared an “operational emergency” on Thursday and required staff to supply medical notes to call a sick person.

James Garofalo of Colorado Springs checks his cellphone after a flight cancellation at Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado, Thursday, December 22, 2022.

Hyoung Chang | Denver Post Office | Getty’s paintings

Based in Seattle Alaska airlines canceled greater than 500 flights on Friday, or 65% of its schedule, and planes and airport ramps were covered in thick layers of ice, slowing Pacific Northwest operations.

“While it’s difficult, especially right now of yr, we strongly encourage guests to reassess their have to travel as a result of continued icy weather and limited availability,” he said on Friday. “Due to very full flights over the subsequent few days, it’ll likely take just a few days to accommodate guests who need latest flights.”

An inside look at how the FAA and airlines deal with bad weather
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